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The Week In Yum March 6-12 Dr Laffa, Ka Chi

Finally, the temperatures have risen about 0C for the first time in what feels like years! It was a glorious week for that reason and I, for one, have ditched the socks and started wearing my favourite metallic Vans again in celebration.

We spent the first Saturday in ages wandering Kensington Market and finished up with lunch at Ka Chi on St Andrew. Shack wanted pizza but, for once, he let The Kid and I prevail and we went for Korean instead. I am happy to report that our picky, adult toddler loved his lunch as much as we knew we would so we can now officially add Ka Chi to our roster of Kensington spots to grab a bite!
pork bone stew and a seafood pancake at Ka Chi in Kensington Market

While at the market, we grabbed a couple of steaks from Sanagan's  and a million dollar lobster from Bill's Lobsters  on Gerrard St East and I am not sure what the deal was, but I am still reeling from the $27 price tag for a little 1.5 lb lobster. We went home and threw them both in a sous vide bath ( I was using both my Sansaire and my Anova immersion heaters). I have got the steak down pat but the lobster is going to need a bit of tweaking. 

The Sansaire cooker is now in the capable hands of Craig Wong, Chef/Owner of Patois and I will be checking with him periodically to chat about all of the exciting things he is doing with his sous vide cooker and his thoughts on the machine, so stay tuned for that.
Sous Vide Surf and Turf
men love their toys

A well needed break from my Anova and a reminder that nothing beats along, slow braise sometimes. The recipe for this Koreanish Beef Stew is coming this weekend.

Dr Laffa

from upper left, clockwise: dips and salads, grilled eggplant w tahini, shakshuka, falafel, chicken shwarma, hummus with spiced meat
I share a love of middle eastern food with my friend and fellow blogger and woman about town, Vicky from Mom Who Runs so when she arranged a media dinner for the Bathurst outlet of Dr Laffa, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I have eaten at the sit down Dr Laffa on Magnetic Drive back when it was still Dr Laffa. Since then, the partners in the restaurant have split up and the Magnetci Drive place is now called Famous Laffa while the good Dr, Yoram Gabay, is now located on Bathurst, just south of Lawrence. We have had take out from the tiny takeout on Bathurst and although great, we live in the Beach so it was either eat sloppy shwarma in the car, eat outside in the cold or eat cold shwarma by the time we get home. This is the only reason we stopped going so you can imagine my glee when I found out that Yoram had moved his operation a few doors north in the same little strip mall and now has a place that can sit about 30 people. 


Yoram and his crew hosted a lively gaggle of bloggers last week (much to the shagrin of his regular customers who had to manouver our crowded table to get to the counter to order) and served us a sample of just about everything on the menu.

Because I am a creature of habit, I always order the same things; i get falafel, the hummus with spiced meat and some of their magical bread, laffa. One of the things I love about these media dinners (besides the free meal of course- who doesn't love a free meal?) is that I am forced to taste things I might not normally order, like these Moroccan cigars down there - crispy little spring roll like morsels filled with ground meat and served with some magical mango sauce with curry that should be drizzled on everything I eat from this moment on.

Moroccan cigars - Pasties plate 8 pieces for $10.99

hummas with meat, laffa, stewed eggplant, roasted peppers and beet salad

Before I go on, let me just tell you that the laffa in question is one of my favourite breads in the city. It's thinner than a pita but a bit thicker than a roti. The thing that comes closest is the crust at Pizza Libretto - impossibly thin with a charred exterior all while maintaining a soft interior with the perfect amount of chew. I could eat my weight in the stuff.

Laffa, also known as taboon, is actually an Iraqi pita bread that was brought to Jerusalem in 1951 the Haba family, where it quickly became a street food staple, stuffed with hummus, falafel or shwarma meat. Yoram, who originally operated a pita bakery,  has built a custom oven just to produce the namesake of his restaurant and it is worth the drive just for a bit of bread but don't do that. Make sure you eat the rest of delicious stuff on the menu.

shakshuka (eggs cooked in tomato sauce) comes to the table piping hot and bubbling in a cast iron pan for $8.99

With spices that they import straight from Isreal twice a month, this place is concocting probably the most authentic Israeli street food in the city. I did not cross the border into Israel, but I did eat my face off for weeks in Jordan which is like saying I didn't cross the border into Scarborough but I do eat regularly in the Beach. I eat a lot of really delicious Middle Eastern food but this stuff really does taste a bit different - it's the real deal.

crispy on the outside, tender on the inside falafel on hummus $8.99

Everything is served on styrofoam plates with plastic cutlery and endless napkins whether you dine in or grab a take out shwarma laffa (their most popular item, by far) so don't come come expecting anything more than that. Now that they have moved next door, there are some tables so you can find a warm spot to pull up a chair and dig into a bounty of Israeli soul food. Oh and make sure you bring friends.

Crembo, the weirdest dessert item I have had in a long time. Kind of like a chocolate dipped damp marshmallow on a cookie

Dr Laffa
3027 Bathurst Street
647 352-9000
open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm
Friday 11am-3:30
Closed Saturday

Dr. Laffa Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I ended my week by doing the hair for Lily James, Lady Rose on Downton Abbey on her Toronto Press day for Cinderella (she is THE perfect Cinderella). We were both up at 5am but she looks like that and I look like this. Okay, so she is a movie star, she is half my age and she is stunning AND a peach to boot, so I can't even hate her for it although I wonder if someone would come and do MY hair. Clearly I could use a brush.

Pin of the week: I am going to Chinatown today to buy this stuff and will build my life around it for my here on in

Instagram of the week: Because when you have had your fill of food shots, you need some grandpas with steeze

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